Vote expected by end of month



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tentative schedule for Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' confirmation hearings :
Monday: Committee convenes at noon. Senators give their opening statements. Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.; Evan Bayh, D-Ind.; and Sen. John Warner, R-Va. introduce Roberts. Roberts gives his opening statement.
Tuesday: Committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. Senators begin questioning Roberts in rounds of 30 minutes each.
Wednesday: Committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. Senators begin questioning Roberts in a second round of 20 minutes each. Additional rounds for questions may be made available at senators' requests. Committee meets in closed session to discuss Roberts' background report from the FBI.
Thursday: Committee convenes at 9:30 a.m. It is expected to begin hearing from other witnesses, including the American Bar Association on its "well qualified" rating of Roberts, and 30 others -- 15 invited by Republicans and 15 invited by Democrats.
Sept. 20: Earliest date that ommittee chairman, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., plans to call for a vote. Other options being considered include Sept. 22 or Sept. 26.
Sept. 26: Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., says this is the latest date he expects to start final debate on the nomination in the full Senate, with a final vote no later than Sept. 30.
Oct. 3: Supreme Court begins new term.

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